Signetics has played a significant role in Utah's return to economic vitality, Gov. Norm Bangerter said during a breakfast salute to the company Friday.

"We have great interest in Sig-netics and its expansion, and we hope we have convinced them that Utah is a place for their future," he said at the Excelsior Hotel. "We hope to make them a bigger player in Utah's economy."Bangerter and other state and local officials attended the salute to pay tribute to Signetics and the prog-ress the company has made since it opened in Utah County 22 years ago.

"Signetics is another success story we have had and will continue to have," Bangerter said. "Signetics is a dynamic company and we are proud to have them here."

Signetics opened its doors in 1976 in a refurbished bowling alley in Provo. Since then, the plant has expanded to a 520,000-square-foot facility on 22 acres in Orem.

Signetics President and Chief Executive Officer Norman A. Neuman said, "Nowhere is a commitment to excellence practiced more than here in the Orem plant. The Orem plant's work ethic and efficiency puts out the high volume production necessary for success."

Signetics has its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The company was formed in 1961 and in 1975 was purchased by Phillips, an electronics company with headquarters in the Netherlands.

Neuman said Signetics is now the seventh largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world.

"The Orem plant is a fine example of how we at Signetics think we can become the winners of the IC (integrated circuits) race," he said.

Signetics Orem works in the design, analysis and production of a broad range of integrated circuits used in the computer industry, automobile industry and numerous other electronic industries.

Neil Bullock, plant manager of Signetics Orem, said, "We are proud of the plant and what we have accomplished in the past 22 years. The quality and production in the Provo facility was second to none. That led us to build the Orem plant."

Signetics Orem has 1,700 full-time employees. The plant is also home to two of the largest fabrication areas in the corporation and has an operating budget of $98 million. Half of that goes to salaries and benefits, Bullock said.

Most of the employees, about 95 percent, are from Utah, he added, and 96 percent of the employees live in Utah County.

"What made us so successful?" he asked. "A well-educated work force that is extra creative. It boils down to people - people who care, are honest and work hard. The Utah culture and Utah work ethic is one of the state's best assets."